This week, Dr. Rosen must make a difficult decision on how to proceed with the mole, and Kat takes on her first mission with the team.
‘Alphas’ is a show that does what a lot of shows can no longer manage – pull off A, B, and C stories without throwing half the characters to the side. It helps that the show has a rather intimate cast, as opposed to ones with a more sprawling ensemble narrative, but the show seamlessly interweaves these people in and out of each other’s stories without seeming forced. If you don’t know what ABC storytelling is, the letter designates the plot of the story by the number of minutes in which the story is featured or the overall importance.
So, this weeks A story: Kat’s first ever assignment. Kat’s been itching to be a part of the team ever since she was brought back by Bill. She’s only supposed to be there to help regain some of her long-term memories, but due to her unexpected involvement in the case of the week, a dangerous new drug scandal, Bill lets her go undercover. There’s a drug on the street that makes people impervious to harm (or so they think) and the dealer, named Dylan, is seen in a facebook photo with Kat, which she, of course, does not remember. Dylan is holding a party and they decide to send Kat in so she can figure out what’s happening with this drug called “jump”. At the party, it appears that Kat and Dylan were pretty close. Makeout close. He lets her try some of the drug, and then they do what people on the drug seem to love doing most – jumping off of impossibly tall buildings. Naturally, Kat is interested in talking to Dylan because he’s a link to her past and can tell her things she’s forgotten. But of course, Dylan is a total scumbag, and could probably tell her anything just to keep manipulating her. Kat struggles with her duty to the team over learning more about herself, and she tries to tell Dylan to get out of harm’s way before she learns the secret of where “jump” comes from – Dylan keeps a female Alpha sedated in a bathtub. The drug is made from her blood. She takes one last hit of Jump and dives off the roof, not even knowing if its going to work, and lands on Dylan’s getaway car, bringing him in. Bill decides to enroll her in an FBI program that he figures she’ll finish in about 2 weeks. Hugs ensue.
This week’s B story, although technically more “important” to the plot, took up less screentime: Dr. Rosen now knows that Dani is Parrish’s mole, and has to figure out what to do about it. At first, he wants to let her runaway with a fake passport, and enlists Nina to push her way into getting one with Dani’s picture. However, Nina (very reasonably) says that a recovering addict like Dani would be dead in three months if she was sent away to an unfamiliar environment with no anchor and cash to burn. With some help from Gary, he finally has the evidence to link Dani to Parrish, and wants to get to her before the police do, fearing she will be sent to prison. In the end, Rosen makes the very painful decision to take her in himself. Dani, devastated by her father’s betrayal, asks him to put a chip in her head so that she won’t remember any of this. “There is an opportunity here.” he tearfully pleads with her. “I don’t want an opportunity, I want a way out.” These are killer scenes, and Strathairn and Kathleen Munroe sell it beautifully.
The C story is between Jon and Rachel and Dani and Hicks: Hicks is having a difficult weekend connecting with his son, and Dani’s presence isn’t making it much better, although she’s trying. In the end, Dani uses her Alpha powers to make the feelings that the father and son have for eachother known. It’s a quiet, lovely scene, and it makes Dani’s character all the more compelling, because she genuinely seems to care about Hicks. The other plot revolves around Jon meeting Rachel’s parents for dinner, and Rachel being terrified because of many things including: Jon’s aryan good looks, her own relationship problems, and so on, and ends up canceling dinner out of fear.
Going back to the way these stories intertwine worked out well this week. Gary aided Kat in her story while working alongside Dr. Rosen. Nina gave advice to Rachel on how to handle her parents and told Dr. Rosen that taking Dani in may be the only way to really keep her safe. It doesn’t feel forced, it feels organic and symbiotic to the nature of this team. Nina gives advice because of her own experience as a ‘troubled Alpha’ and Gary likes to take initiative as well as be a part of ‘top secret’ things. Kat’s story was a welcome one, and I was glad to see her in full swing this week. The way she can oscillate between being a quirky comic figure (without being, say, a manic pixie dream girl) and a real woman with desires and flaws is very well portrayed. That, and she’s also tough as hell.
- Favorite line, from Rachel: “He’s the blondest boy I’ve ever seen. They’re going to eat him alive.”
- I wondered briefly if Jon’s military experience in the Middle East was going to worry Rachel. Might not be the greatest topic of conversation with your girlfriend’s Iranian parents, even if you can speak Farsi.
- Man, girls in bathtubs being hooked up to IVs and used to make drugs. The superhero world is pretty gritty.
- Kat’s favorite color? Green, apparently.
- Favorite Gary line: “I can drive, I’m just better on roads that don’t have other cars on them, or people. I can mow people down.”
Did you miss an episode? Check out our recap of last week’s ‘Gods and Monsters‘.